Titanic Centenary Celebration!

by Tom Ruprecht

FROM THE HUFFINGTON POST – Satirical piece by Tom Ruprecht.  He recently left Late Show with David Letterman after 12 years, and 11 Emmy nominations, as a writer on the show where he came up with many signature pieces including “Great Moments in Presidential Speeches.” He is also the author of George W. Bush: An Oral History (Andrews McMeel); an occasional NY Times Op-Ed contributor, contributor to McSweeney’s, The Wall St. Journal and GQ. He is also writing the film Detroit Rock City based on Chuck Klosterman’s memoir of the same name, collaborating with Craig Finn of the band The Hold Steady.

Titanic disaster revisited on luxury cruise.

Titanic disaster. Looking for a way to celebrate the tragedy? Well, the British company Miles Morgan Travel is offering a Titanic Memorial Cruise coinciding with the anniversary. I’m sure you’ve got questions, so I’ve taken the liberty of putting together a little brochure to give you some more information.

Will the trip be a faithful reproduction of the original Titanic voyage?

You bet! You’ll depart from Southampton UK on Sunday April 8 aboard the MS Balmoral. The ship will travel to Cobh, Ireland–the Titanic’s final port of call. From there you head across the Atlantic Tuesday April 10th, Wednesday the 11th, Thursday the 12th, and Friday the 13th (uh-oh!).

In keeping with Titanic tradition, Saturday April 14th at 11:40PM you’ll strike an iceberg 400 miles south of Newfoundland. The ship will take on water and then at 2:20am the bow will crack and sink to the ocean floor. The stern will rise at a 90-degree angle before also plunging beneath the surface.

Sounds perfect!

Indeed. But that’s not all. We’ve worked closely with Harland & Wolff, the company that built Titanic, to ensure the Balmoral gets all the little details right. For instance, we have painstakingly restored a woefully inadequate number of lifeboats–the same deadly oversight as the 1912 tragedy!

What else?

We’re also spending $450 million to build an exact replica of the ocean liner SS Californian which will remain a few tantalizing miles away from Titanic, but will be oblivious to the unfolding disaster. As on the fateful night, the Californian’s operator will turn off his radio before going to bed and the on-deck crew will dismiss the distress flares they see in the distance as an opulent fireworks display coming from the doomed liner.

Am I assured of an icy grave?

A common question. Many fear the effects of global warming will prevent the water from being as frigid as that which claimed the original victims. That’s why we’re bringing in a fleet of 62 additional icebergs (look out, Captain!) to keep the Atlantic at a 1912-like 28 degrees.

So am I absolutely guaranteed of dying just like my heroes on Titanic?

Yes, but only if you’re one of the first 1,509 to sign up. In the interest of historical accuracy, we’re afraid the remaining 705 passengers will be rescued. So don’t delay!

Okay, I’m sold! How do I sign up?

Whoa, not so fast. Before being allowed on the cruise, passengers must undergo a thorough underwater test to assure us they don’t know how to swim. We’ll also be giving special consideration to asthma sufferers and people who tend to “lose it” in emergencies.

Oh no, I just realized I’m busy in 2012.

Then be sure to ask about one of our other packages. For instance, May of 2013 we’ll be launching Hindenburg II. Or you may wish to wait for our exciting “Pompeii Getaway” in 2014. And you’ll certainly want to plan on being in Europe 2018 when we celebrate the 670th anniversary of the Black Plague!


A trans-Atlantic cruise is being offered in 2012 to mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.

The Titanic Memorial Cruise will depart, as the original ship did, on April 8, from Southampton, England, and arrive at the spot in the North Atlantic where the Titanic sank on April 15.

A memorial service will be held onboard the cruise exactly 100 years after the Titanic hit the iceberg and sank, between 11:40 p.m., on April 14, 2012, and 2:20 a.m. on April 15.

The cruise will then head to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where passengers can visit three cemeteries where Titanic victims are buried. The final destination for the cruise is New York, where the Titanic was headed. The memorial cruise will also make a stop in Cobh, Ireland, after leaving Southampton, just as the original vessel did.

The British firm Miles Morgan Travel has chartered the Balmoral, a ship owned by Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, for the memorial voyage. The Balmoral holds 1,350 passengers and a crew of 510 and has 710 cabins. Prices for the 12-night trip started at $3,900 for an inside cabin, including taxes.

The cruise will include food that matches the menus of the original voyage, a live band offering music and dancing from that era, and lectures from historians.


About Michael L. Grace

MICHAEL L. GRACE is part of the award winning team that created the internationally performed award winning musical SNOOPY, based on PEANUTS by Charles M. Schultz. SNOOPY continues to be one of the most produced shows (amateur & stock) in America/Worldwide and has had long running productions in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and in London's West End. There are over 100 individual productions every year. He has written movies for TV, including the award-winning thriller LADY KILLER, various pilots and developed screenplays for Kevin Costner and John Travolta. Besides co-writing and co-producing SNOOPY, he wrote and produced the one-man play KENNEDY. He produced P.S. YOUR CAT IS DEAD by pulitzer prize winning author James Kirkwood. He wrote the stage thriller FINAL CUT which had productions in the UK, South Africa and Australia. His one-man play, KENNEDY - THE MAN BEHIND THE MYTH, was developed for HBO and has starred Andrew Stevens, Gregory Harrison and Joseph Bottoms. He has recently been involved in European productions with CLT-UFA, Europe's leading commercial television and radio broadcaster. He wrote MOWs THE DOLL COLLECTION, THE BOTTOM LINE and LAST WITNESS for German television. While in college and graduate school he worked as a foreign correspondent for COMBAT, the famous leftwing Paris daily, and as a travel writer. He visited more than 50 countries. He struggled as an actor, then joined the enemy and entered the training program at William Morris. He became a publicist and worked for Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis Presley's manager, at Paramount and MGM. He followed with a brief stint as a story executive, working in the frantic horror genre period of the early 80s and wrote THE UNSEEN. He went onto write for episodic television and develop series pilots. He was a continuing writer on such series such as LOVE BOAT, PAPER DOLLS, and KNOTS LANDING. He developed screenplays for such major award winning directors as Nicolas Meyers, Tony Richardson and J. Lee Thompson. He has written for all the major networks and studios. He has been hired numerous times as a script doctor, doing many uncredited rewrites on TV movies and features. He is currently writing A PERSON OF INTEREST, a thriller novel, and, IT'S THE LOVE BOAT... AND HOW IT CHANGED CRUISING BY SHIP a non-fiction book dealing with how the hit TV series as a major cultural phenomenon and altered the style of cruising by ship. He was raised in Los Angeles. He attended St. Paul's, USC and the Pasadena Playhouse. He received a B.A from San Francisco State University where he majored in theatre arts and minored in creative writing. He is listed as a SFSU leading alumni. He also apprenticed at ACT - The American Conservatory Theatre. For a brief period he had intentions of becoming an Episcopal(Anglican) priest and attended seminary at Kelham Theological College in the UK. When "the calling" wasn't there, he left seminary and did graduate work at the American University of Beirut. He has guest lectured at USC, UC San Diego, McGill, Univ. of London and the Univ. of Texas on the business aspects of making a living and surviving as a writer, focusing on development hell, in the Hollywood entertainment industry. Grace is a lifetime member of the Writers Guild of America, the Dramatist Guild and former regional chairman of the Steamship Historical Society of America. He resides in Palm Springs.